After following their journey along with thousands of others on Twitter, we talk to Alana about how she adopted the now infamous rescue greyhound ‘Johnny’ from Finding Furever Homes.
1. How did you first hear about Johnny needing a new home, and were you looking to adopt a dog at the time?
We first saw Johnny via his Twitter page. We were looking to get a puppy, a cockapoo or something small and hypoallergenic as I have allergies but we decided that adopting a dog would be a better thing to do as there are so many out there needing homes. We looked at the Dogs Trust website a few times, but we always came back to Johnny.
2. When you first met Johnny, how did you know that he was the dog for you, was it instant or did you have any reservations about him or his history?
When we first met Johnny we took him into the enclosed field at the rescue centre to play. We tried really hard to play with him but he wasn't interested at all. He would stand at the gate nudging it to try and get out. We thought maybe he just didn’t like us, or maybe we weren’t the right parents for him. Despite this we did not give up on him, and we visited him again the following weekend and noticed a slight improvement but he still ended up wandered back to the gate. I was determined that we could get him used to us, so we went back yet again, and this time he played! It was the best feeling! We were so excited that he may be getting used to us and was enjoying us being there. He was not a dog I could give up on and I was willing to put in the commitment to make it work.
3. How long was it before you were able to take Johnny home, what was involved in the process?
In total it took about three months before we took him home. The adoption process involves a home check where someone from the charity comes to meet the family and check out the house to make sure both are suitable for the dog. We were in the process of buying our first home which took way longer than expected, so we had to wait until we were in our new home before someone could come to do our home check, and then finally get him home. We visited him at least once a week for this whole period (even though it was a four hour round trip each time!). This was of benefit in the long run as he got really used to us and began looking forward to us visiting him. We had started taking him out to other places too, for example into town and to dog shows (he actually won four rosettes before we even got him home!) to help him get used to ‘real world’. He coped really well with everything.
4. How long has Johnny been with you now, and how is he settling in?
He has now been with us just over a week and is settling in wonderfully, almost as if he has always been here! He took no time in finding his way on to the sofa and bed and enjoys reclining like he's royalty!
5. Have there been any recurring problems that you have had to seek help for?
We have been very lucky with Johnny, we haven’t really had any problems. He is almost house trained (just three accidents so far!). He has also started crying at night when he is left alone however I think he's just testing us as he's used to being alone in his kennels! We have given in a couple of times and let him upstairs. Oops!
6. What advice would you give to someone thinking about rescuing a dog, and more specifically an ex racing greyhound?
My advice to anyone thinking of adopting a dog would be DO IT! It's such a great feeling, they have so much to give and it’s almost as if they know you've rescued them, they give you so